It’s Tuesday 9th August 2011 and the UK is in its fourth night of riots. I have honestly never felt more scared or sad about the events unfolding in this country. More so, my London is being attacked by thugs and like-minded youths. I have written before about my love for London. And now I am watching it burn and be vandalised in horrific ways.
I have a few things to say about this. First, I’m removed from everything by living in the sticks. This is no bad thing and gives a strong sense of safety. But I’m scared for all the people I love and cherish who live near those areas affected. Additionally though this means I’m left feeling seriously helpless. As I’m on jury service I’m also travelling away from the affected areas. So I have no way of actually being part of any help.
Second, I am heartened immensely to read on Twitter tonight that Sikhs around the UK have been rallying together and protecting their gurdwaras and in some instances the community. On Sky channel 847 Sangat TV have had a roving reporter with a live TV feed of action in Birmingham.
Third, I have been thinking about being there and helping my fellow Sikhs to protect the gurdwaras. And this is where I come unstuck. I am not a well built guy, very slim in fact. I don’t know how to fight. And I don’t condone violence in any way. My brother-in-law visited this evening and he is rather hot-headed and he wanted to go to our local gurdwara. I would not have let him go alone. But I do not want to fight. Because I don’t know how to.
One of my good friends is serving in the army and has been out to Iraq and Afghanistan. He knows what fear is, what aggression is and what violence is. He also knows what defence actually is. I respect this. But I have none of that to fall on. The worst scuffle I’ve had is games of bulldog at school.
Which is why I decided to go into psychology. And from there to a career in L&D. Because I can help people develop and improve their lives. But this is a very small thing I do. I have a life I lead through Twitter and see I can help spread messages to an audience. So my written word has become my chosen weapon of choice.
It’s what I can do. The police officers who went to arrest Mark Duggan seem to have made an error which has had unforeseen circumstances. The government has not acted strongly enough or given assurances which give peace of mind or sense of security. Yet through it all, the public service being carried out by the police forces, and emergency services are all remarkable. I wish them nothing but good luck in their endeavours against these trouble makers.
My words, then, are I hope of use. I hope the fever that these rioters seem to have picked up goes quickly and our country can go back to being the wonderful place I enjoy it to be. To those who read this, I wish you all well. To those who can help, I hope you can. To those who get arrested for the troubles you have caused, I hope you receive swift and severe punishments. To my family, I love you.